Embracing the Mission: A Case Study of Adjunct Faculty Perceptions of Online Problem-Based Learning for Professional Development

Document Type


Publication Title

Net: An eJournal of Faith-Based Distance Learning

Publication Date

Winter 2015




As institutions of higher education develop programs at a distance, they are challenged with the task of creating a professional community online that incorporates the values and mission of the institution, especially when some of the faculty are part-time. Harding University designed an online orientation entitled "Embracing the Mission" that introduced all adjunct faculty to the university's history and encouraged each participant to think creatively about how to integrate one's faith into teaching and learning across various academic disciplines. An online problem-based learning (PBL) model was selected for the orientation's instructional design. The purpose of this case study was to explore the data that had been collected over three years in order to evaluate how well the PBL design had led to helping adjunct faculty understand the mission of the university and integrate the mission into their teaching. This study collected quantitative and qualitative data, drawing from post course evaluations completed by the participants in the first and third year of the implementation. Findings revealed that the participants perceived the PBLonline orientation to be an effective way to learn the institutional mission. Other salient themes included collaboration, frequent communication by the facilitator, and time as commodity for part-time teachers.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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